During the Vietnam War (1954-1975), North and South Vietnam were separated by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The Vietnam DMZ was put into place as a result of the Geneva Accords, drafted in July 1954. The creation of the buffer zone marked the start of the Vietnam War (called the American War in Vietnam, or, in full, the War Against the Americans to Save the Nation).
The DMZ lies roughly between Phong Nha and Hue, near Dong Ha. The area is about 10 kilometers wide and 100 kilometers long – about 5 kilometers on either side of the Ben Hai River. The stretched out Vietnam is at its narrowest here.
Despite its function as a demilitarized zone, the DMZ was the scene of several bloody battles. Today, a few decades later, communities of etnic minorities once again inhabited the area, and many rubber and coffee plantations are located here. Visit the area with a local guide during a DMZ tour and immerse yourself in the recent war history that is certainly still fresh in the memory of older inhabitants of Vietnam.
Explore the area during a Vietnam DMZ Tour
Among the plantations, you’ll find several impressive Vietnam War sites: the Khe Sanh army base, the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail, the sprawling Truong Son cemetery, the Hien Luong bridge over the Ben Hai River, and of course the Vinh Moc tunnels, an impressive three-storey underground network where people lived during bombardments. At most of the sights in the DMZ there is little or no English information available.
You can explore the Vietnam DMZ during a three-day Easy Rider DMZ Tour from Phong Nha, ending in Hoi An. Easy Riders are local guides on motobikes, you can pillion or drive yourself if you possess a valid license. Rather drive in the opposite direction? Start your three-day Easy Rider DMZ Tour from Hoi An and finish in Phong Nha. During all DMZ Tours you will also ride on two famous roads, the Hai Van Pass and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.